So what are the New York Jets thinking? Many think they’re thinking about positioning themselves to “earn” the No. 1 overall pick in the draft by tanking for the full season.
As noted by Charean Williams on Tuesday, G.M. Mike Maccagnan denies that. But what else is he going to say?
“Sure, we know we’re not going to compete for a playoff spot this year, so why not compete for the top spot in the draft?”
Tuesday’s moves feel like they were driven by ownership. Why else would a team dump two key veterans this late in the offseason, clearing $13.75 million in cash and cap space that likely won’t be spent this year?
That’s the other benefit for 2018. In addition to enhanced draft positioning, the Jets will carry that extra cap space into 2018, along with (per NFLPA records) nearly $9 million they currently have in 2017. So they can sign free agents and draft players higher in the process and hopefully (for them) turn around a team that has fallen for the upcoming season about as low as it could.
As noted by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, owner Woody Johnson made the decision to cut Harris and Decker in order to save money in 2017. It also necessarily enhances the team’s position in 2018. Especially if it allows them to get the first overall pick and, in turn, perhaps their first franchise quarterback since Joe Namath.